Archive for April, 2008

THE WEEPIES-“Hideaway”

Posted: April 30, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

Indie pop folk. Or is it folky indiepop? Indie folk pop? The Weepies fit all three of these categories.
We can emphasis the pop, the indie, or the folk, and different songs on “Hideaway” will fit the appropriate accent. “Wish I Could Forget” is a great example of the band’s sound. It feels like it could be a Gordon Lightfoot or America song, at home on ‘70s AM Radio, what with it’s gentle guitar line and lovely harmonies, but it’s also got some 2000s twee to it. This is largely cheerful, simple music, which is (and has been) at home in the background of network TV family dramas, but then, so was Peter Bjorn and John. (The Weepies songs have appeared on Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, The Riches, How I Met Your Mother, and many more.)

The title track is the single, and it’s catchy as hell.

Hideaway

HELLO TOKYO-“Sell The Stars”

Posted: April 29, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

I’m going to avoid the obvious comparison to No Doubt, and instead say that Hello Tokyo’s, “Sell the Stars” features a female vocalist (Kat Kihler) who murmurs and explodes, alternately, in disaffected, shrill
passion. It’s the chick version of the same style made classic by The Rolling Stones and made current by Dave Grohl, but with more pop-and-ska than rhythm-and-blues. “Alert the Authority,” the first track, is a pretty low-key, metaphysical affair (“I am happy/At least I think so/Everything’s better/When my mind is bigger”), but right after that the title track starts with hook and never lets up, pummeling the listener with nonstop riffs and rim shots.

Kat is also the songwriter here, and most of her songs are about how she’s been the victim of a bad relationship. The lyrics aren’t captivating, but they’re fine for what she’s doing. The real star is Kat’s voice, a perfectly tough pop star voice, one that in the ‘90s would probably have been a radio staple but, with the fall of the music industry, will probably have to do a lot more to get into your earhole.

For me, “Intimidate Me” is the standout track here. It’s got a little Stevie Wonder funk in it, just enough to separate it from the power pop that otherwise occupies the album. But every song is catchy, and proves that the band has skills.

Oh, and I can’t avoid it any more: They sound an awful lot like No Doubt. Not that that’s a bad thing (and it is far better than sounding like Gwen solo). They’re also from Brooklyn. And yes, that’s a good thing.

For fans of: Metric, Rilo Kiley, No Doubt

Sell the Stars

Intimidate Me

PICTURE OF THE DAY

Posted: April 29, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

LYKKE LI-“Youth Novels”

Posted: April 28, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

I’m having trouble finding out much about Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson (stage name “Lykke Li”). I received her “Little Bit” EP in the mail, without much fanfare, and I really like it. I’ve also been able to locate streams of her debut, “Youth Novels” (two songs from the album are also on the EP), which has been released overseas but doesn’t appear to have a U.S. distributor yet. Her label is listed as LL Recordings, but I’ve seen indications that this label is not a true indie—it may be distributed through EMI, but I can’t be sure.

For now, I’m going to give the Swedish singer-songwriter the benefit of the doubt and assume that she’s not affiliated, so she gets a review here. And not just any review—“Youth Novels” is extraordinary. It’s sexy in the cold, sexless way Bjork is sexy. It’s quirky in the mainstream pop way that Tori Amos is quirky. “Little Bit,” the (well-selected) single is the most mainstream tune on
the record, and it’s great, but don’t let it keep you from digging deeper. “Breaking It Up,” with its child-like sing-a-long and sugary innocence hides a sad song about the end of a relationship. You can write the record off as harmless pop, but I’d have to disagree. This is about as good as pop can get.

Her “Little Bit” EP was released domestically in 2007. The fact that I’m just getting it in the mail indicates to me that there are plans for a U.S. launch of the album. Let’s hope!

Little Bit

DL INCOGNITO-“A Captured Moment In Time”

Posted: April 27, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

Underground rapper DL Incognito, a Juno-nominee who’s been in the biz for ten years, just dropped his fourth record, “A Captured Moment in Time,” on his own Nine Planets label.

Canada, like Britain, has never really mastered the rap game (K-Os is the exception, and Kardinal Offishall isn’t bad but isn’t great), so it’s especially remarkable that such a fantastic album has emerged from the region. The verses are similar to Talib or Common, focusing on philosophy and relationships instead of drugs and bling. (“I had two chicks/time not well invested” he says on “Fresh to Death,” lamenting misspent youth.) And just when he starts to get a little too obtuse, Theology 3’s guest shot arrives on “Atmosphere”—“spitting raw butane” from “the top of the Wu Tang,” and name-dropping Boot Camp Clik—which brings it all back down to earth.

DL Incognito’s skill as a lyricist is matched by his production chops. Most of the tracks lie on fairly simple beds, but the Neptunes have proven that simple doesn’t mean boring. “Grand Scale” has the bombast of its title, between the horn section and the creeping gangsta-style bassline. On the other hand, “Fresh to Death” has a sunny, upbeat trumpet-driven beat that’s perfect for a fast car ride.

This is a solid release that deserves your ears and your support.

Atmosphere-DL Incognito Feat. Theology 3

PICTURE OF THE DAY: Wedding cake edition

Posted: April 26, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

And because I love anything with zombies, the zombie cake topper:

Part one. Part two. And today . . . The final countdown!

N is for Neil Young. That’s kind of a no-brainer, innit?

O is for Ohio-Brian Dolanzi

O is also for Out on the Weekend-Elliot Smith

P is for Down By the River-Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

R is for Roll Another Number For The Road (Neil Young cover) Okkerville River with Mendoza Line

R is also for Ryan Adams, who does a version of Helpless that you might like. It’s in the zip file.

S is for Songs: Ohia doing Out on the Weekend (Neil Young), which you’ll find in the zip file.

R and S are also for Reggae/Ska-ish bands!

Like a Hurricaine-The Samples

Powderfinger-Rusted Root

T is for Tim Easton and Carrie Rodriguez’s version of Cortez the Killer!

U is for Mr. Soul-Uncle Tupelo.

V is for Vedder. Harvest Moon by Pearl Jam with Sleater Kinney is in the zip.

Y is for Young himself, teaming up with some cool dudes.

Splendid Isolation-Neil Young and Warren Zevon

Throw Your Hatred Down-Pearl Jam w/ Neil Young

As promised, Z is for Zipfile!